20 Years Later: Reflections on the Terror Attacks of September 11, 2001

Artist Registration Invitation

The events of September 11, 2001 left an indelible mark on both U.S. and world history.

To honor those whose lives were lost, to respect those who lost family, friends and colleagues in the attacks on New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, we invite area artists to contribute to this month-long display at Allentown Public Library.

All artists must REGISTER HERE. (Other details and instruction below.)

Our intent is to acknowledge the day through art, and to teach future generations both what we remember and what we have learned.

Thirty people from the state of Pennsylvania died in the attacks on September 11, 2001, including Alan Merdinger of Allentown, PA.

  1. Bane, Michael Andrew – 33 – Yardley – Deceased WTC
  2. Baxter, Jasper – 45 – Philadelphia – Deceased WTC
  3. Berger, James Patrick – 44 – Lower Makefield – Deceased WTC
  4. Blanding Jr., Harry – 38 – Blakeslee – Deceased WTC
  5. Bowser, Kevin L. – 45 – Philadelphia – Deceased WTC
  6. Calandrillo, Joseph – 49 – Hawley – Deceased WTC
  7. Chirchirillo, Peter A. – 47 – Langhorne – Deceased WTC
  8. Clarke, Christopher Robert – 34 – Philadelphia – Deceased WTC
  9. Coale, Jeffrey – 31 – Souderton – Deceased WTC
  10. Flounders, Joseph W. – 46 – East Stroudsburg – Deceased WTC
  11. Havlish Jr., Donald G. – 53 – Yardley – Deceased WTC
  12. Horrocks, Michael R. – 38 – Glen Mills – On United 175
  13. Jones, Donald W. – 43 – Fairless Hills – Deceased WTC
  14. Kim, Lawrence Donald – 31 – Blue Bell – Deceased WTC
  15. Lopez, George – 40 – Stroudsburg – Deceased WTC
  16. Lostrangio, Joseph – 48 – Langhorne – Deceased WTC
  17. McNeil, Walter Arthur – 53 – East Stroudsburg – Deceased Emergency/Rescue
  18. Melendez, Mary – 44 – Stroudsburg – Deceased WTC
  19. Merdinger, Alan H. – 47 – Allentown – Deceased WTC
  20. Nacke, Louis J. – 42 – New Hope – On United 93
  21. O’Sullivan, Timothy F. – 68 – Albrightsville – Deceased WTC
  22. Panik, Jonas Martin – 26 – Mingoville – Deceased Pentagon
  23. Ragonese-Snik, Laura Marie – 41 – Bangor – Deceased WTC
  24. Romero Sr., Efrain Franco – 57 – Hazleton – Deceased WTC
  25. Saracini, Victor J. – 51 – Lower Makefield Township – On United 175
  26. Senko, Larry John – 34 – Yardley – Deceased WTC
  27. Sigmund, Johanna – 25 – Syndmoor – Deceased WTC
  28. Smith, George Eric – 38 – West Chester – Deceased WTC
  29. Steiner, WIlliam R. – 56 – New Hope – Deceased WTC
  30. Wright, Sandra – 57 – Langhorne – Deceased WTC

Café Wrap: Justice vs. Vengeance

Question: Does justice equate with vengeance and does mercy equate with forgiveness?

At the latest Socrates Café meetup we addressed this timely question. Though it’s two questions merged into one, the feeling (according to the one who submitted it) is that this question reflects two sides of the same coin.

Initially, one participant suggested that when feeling that one has been wronged, vengeance is individualized. If you are wronged, vengeance says, “You cannot treat me this way!” The reward for enacted vengeance may be that the actor is then feared or even respected. On the other hand, justice must be enforced by the state as it says, “You may not treat anyone this way.”

Justice is supposed to give power to the powerless, though one expressed the concern that sometimes justice is twisted to the point that it becomes vengeance. Laws are designed to maintain civil society, though the laws themselves depend on the culture in which you live; a democracy, an aristocracy, dictatorship or another form of government. Democracies, it was pointed out, have been instituted to usurp powers of kings and emperors.

We looked at mercy and forgiveness as being different from justice or vengeance. If you are a reasonable person responsible for a child, you might mete out justice by punishing a child to discourage the child from repeating the offense. But you should be merciful in that endeavor, ensuring that the punishment fits the infraction.

Juries serve justice by declaring guilty one who has been proven criminally responsible and we rely on them to do so. Likewise, we then expect the court to sentence the person accordingly. Ideally, an imprisoned criminal would be shown mercy out of respect for both the person’s humanity and feelings. We acknowledge that cases of crimes against persons rather than crimes involving property present the heaviest burdens when it comes to mercy or forgiveness.

One patron mentioned the idea that justice and mercy are often institutionalized as in hospitals and in prisons.

An individual can show mercy but feel unable to forgive, or they may show both forgiveness and mercy. Justice is meant to be proportionate to the crime and bring repentance or repair so that a person can become a productive member of society. On the other hand, if the criminal is deemed too dangerous to society as a whole, some believe the ideal punishment would keep the person humanely incarcerated until such time as that is no longer the case, while others believe capital punishment would suffice. We acknowledge the many inequities that can occur when laws are ambiguously written or applied unequally.

There are always diverse and interesting points of view offered at the Socrates Café about the question of the day. We welcome anyone who enjoys listening to others’ point of view and sharing their own from time to time.

YNGR: HomeMade

HomeMade: 101 Easy-to-Make Things for Your Garden, Home, or Farm by Ken Braren & Roger Griffith

Planning to Garden this Season?

Now is the perfect time to get started with do-it-yourself projects to improve your planting and backyard experience for summer and fall. Get inspired to choose one or more projects from HomeMade: 101 Easy-To-Make Things for Your Garden, Home or Farm.

The first is a simple sawhorse to build in case you do not happen to own one already.  

Ideas include:

  • Mailbox holder
  • Garden Bench
  • Planter Box
  • Compost Bin
  • Handy Tool Keeper
  • Smokehouse
  • Hotbeds
  • Firewood Box
  • Firewood Brace
  • Plant Supports
  • Strawberry Barrels
  • Berry Boxes
  • Movable Shed
  • Birdhouse

With sketches to aid your understanding, many of the projects can be constructed using upcycled or leftover materials from other projects. If you are handy with a measuring tape, you should be able to change suggested material dimensions to suit your space without too much effort.

Glancing through the various projects, we would say that some of the projects, like the potting table, require basic carpentry knowledge while others are more complicated. You would be well advised to have experience yourself or to work with a partner who does to successfully complete larger projects like the poultry house or horse stable without frustration.

You can find 58 titles in the do-it-yourself category at Allentown Public Library and 1276 titles on the subject of gardening in our catalog. Plus, with your library card, you have access to Garden Guides on Hoopla. Click on the links in this article to find out more.

YNGR: Do-It-Yourself Framed Quilts by Gail Perry

Time to get your DIY on!

Unique, framed artwork can add interest to your home’s décor. If you enjoy making gifts for your friends and family or creating do-it-yourself projects as a way to earn extra cash, you might want to check out Do-It-Yourself Framed Quilts by Gail Perry.

While quilt making dates far back to ancient Egypt, more recent patterns, from Pennsylvania and Ohio’s Amish and Mennonite communities, might be more familiar to you. These include patchwork, log cabin, crown of thorns, double wedding ring, bear claw, and many others popularized in the 19th century.

The nine small quilts detailed in this book, however, are not your grandmother’s quilts! There are florals, impressionist, landscapes, concentric diamonds and more. You’ll be inspired to create designs of your own.

35″ x 40″ Impressionist Quilt

Sized appropriately for wall hanging in typical frame dimensions:

15” x 15”

16” x 20”

20” x 24”

…as well as a handful of others, they’re not so big as to be overwhelming to a beginner. It is fair to say that some prior sewing ability would be helpful.

The best part of this book is its combination of photos, patterns, clear instructions and detailed information about standard matte sizes and the tools you’ll need when you want to begin framing.

There are 67 titles for do-it-yourself projects at Allentown Public Library. What’s your next project?

Got Your Shot?

If you are home bound for medical or mobility reasons that make it difficult for you to get a COVID-19 shot and you live in Allentown, help is on the way!

City of Allentown Paramedics will be making house calls to those residents who need the service. Stocked with the Moderna COVID-19 shots, they’ll provide your first shot and follow up to bring a second shot. They’ll keep working to provide shots for people who need this help until this service is no longer needed in our city.

You just need to take the first step. Make the call to the hotline at 610-260-0360 to schedule an appointment.

YNGR: Shiatsu

Shiatsu: Japanese Finger Pressure Therapy, Do-it-Yourself Acupressure by William Schultz

Sometimes older books like this one, published in 1976, are as relevant today as they were when they were brand new.

Illustration from Shiatsu: Japanese Finger Pressure Therapy

In 1954 while living in Tokyo, Japan, author William Schultz enrolled in the Shiatsu Institute. While he continued his education, he moved to California where he was also able to continue his exporting business and his practice. He achieved a Master of Shiatsu, and by the time the book was published ten years later, Schultz was one of only two shiatsu practitioners in the United States.

Shiatsu, the author tells us, is “the oldest written form of physical therapy.”

Compelling are the many ways in which shiatsu, once learned, can benefit one’s health. Nearly anyone can learn the basic techniques covered here to alleviate headaches, relieve neck and shoulder pain, address tendonitis, muscle fatigue and more.

A short read unencumbered by heavy medical jargon and accompanied by photos and drawings that best illustrate the details, this book proves its worth.

We like the do-it-yourself aspect of this particular book, but there are several other books in our collection about Shiatsu which are located in the non-fiction section at 615.822. Would you like to learn more? Click below to link to our catalog.

YNGR: 500 Handmade Dolls

­­500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form by Valerie Van Arsdale Schrader

These are not your sister’s baby dolls!

For adults and children, this coffee-table book allows its viewers to appreciate artful interpretations that indulge both reality and fantasy.

The artists have sculpted, whittled, sewn, beaded and burnished using disparate mediums that include: clay, wood, metal, fabric and other materials that inspire imagination.

Containing real conversation starters, there’s bound to be a doll that suits your personal taste in art, makes you giggle or impresses in its intricacies.

If you enjoy the cute and whimsical, prefer the macabre or the confusion and chaos of modern artists’ mythical creatures, then this book is worth checking out.

Looking for artistic inspiration?

Whether you want to take a break from your computer screen or ponder age old questions like that of the funky chicken pictured here in Who Came First?, you’re likely to find ideas for your next art project in this photo book. 

Some of the dolls, like those in the traditional section, show a slice of life while others exaggerate features and form with available materials.

Check it out! Literally!

YNGR: Music Section of the World’s Great Madonnas

Music Section of the World’s Great Madonnas by Cynthia Pearl Maus and Evelyn Lysle Fielding

Published in 1947, you could easily overlook this little treasure of a book. Think of it! When this book made its way to the Allentown Public Library, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States. Its cover price (at the time $1.50) would be about $16.95 today, but you can still check it out for free here.

It doesn’t have a flashy, high-definition cover or a national ad campaign beckoning booksellers to order new copies from the publisher. What it lacks there, it makes up for in both nostalgia and variety.

While you might be the type of person who looks forward to hearing your favorite holiday tunes play on the radio from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas, others might prefer finding music and lyrics to old hymns or lesser known folk songs.

In addition to Christmas songs and carols, the book contains special occasion folk songs and lullabies from around the world. Divided into six sections, you’ll find music and lyrics from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and both North and South America. Come check out this non-fiction selection. Who knows what other treasures you might find?

What It Is

returned book

by Lynda Barry

Allentown Public Library received a *new* book in our book return. After the mandatory 72 hours in quarantine, the Circulation Department tried to check it in.

It has none of the typical markings that we expected, like our stamp, a barcode, a call tag or a security insert. It does have an APL sticker inside and it included a handwritten note.

“Hello!

I stole this book from the library when I was 14 years old. I found it while cleaning out my childhood stuff at my parent’s house.

It brought me so much joy as a teen, and it was a shame I took the opportunity from others.

Coincidentally, I too work at a library now and understand the pain & struggle of stolen books. I assume this book was replaced not too long after I stole it, and I assume it probably won’t be readded to your catalog since it’s been so long.

But, I think it deserves to call the library home.

                                                                                                Sincerely, Z.”

The library added the book to our collection in 2008, and we suspect that as a new book, that’s about the time it went missing. We just wanted to take this opportunity to say, “Thanks Z, for returning the book,” and to affirm your conclusion that public libraries benefit everyone. The library and its collections act as a community hub, bringing people together and connecting them to other communities and the world.

Café Wrap: Disabilities and Phobias

Question: When supporting someone who has a difficulty (such as a disability or a phobia), at what point should one help this person get used to the trigger versus make accommodations?

At the outset of our meetup, we determined that this question is not on its surface philosophical. It does suggest a moral dilemma. The deeper question it reveals is whether it is immoral for us to expect a person to change to adhere to our expectations.

A distinction exists between a disability and a phobia. Whereas a disability may include phobias, one who has a phobia or even several phobias may not necessarily be disabled though they may be debilitated by them. Disabilities too, we recognized can encompass mental, physical or both aspects of a person’s being. They may be obvious or invisible.

One person suggested, “Someone once said that a person will only change when the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of changing.” This principle can be applied to all sorts of change.

Can we even compare phobias like the fear of flying in an airplane, arachnophobia (fear of spiders), or fear of heights with varying challenges presented by learning disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, PTSD, loss of a limb, or traumatic brain injury? In short, these are not comparable. Answers to how to properly address each condition can vary by the individual. Approaches to treatment are often best begun by professional experts in their field of medical, occupational or physical therapy or psychology.

There are other questions here too. Is it better for us to set a higher achievement goal for the individual in hopes it will inspire him or her to grow, to heal or to be “more than” they were before? By contrast, is it best to make an accommodation that allows the person to participate as fully as possible in the human experience given the set of skills they bring to the table without expecting more?

And, by “more” do we mean “more like us”?

Maybe, Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwik offers some answers.

One participant used the example of her work at a summer camp for special needs children. There, as she would go around at meal times with a pitcher offering more to drink, some who could have been capable to pour for themselves didn’t simply because they had not been given the opportunity to try, thus they did not strive for more.

To that end, another participant suggested a Richard Lavoie workshop entitled Understanding learning disabilities: [frustration, anxiety, tension, the F.A.T. city workshop] How difficult can this be? would offer some insight. (*Available on DVD by requesting an Interlibrary Loan at our Reference Desk.)

By listening to one another at the Socrates Café, we gain valuable insight into our beliefs and how our answer to this question influence our decisions. The Socratic method allows us to see possibilities beyond our usual scope because we meet people who we might otherwise not have.

At each meetup, participants have an opportunity to hear other points of view, and to offer their ideas about the group’s chosen question of the day. We hope you’ll JOIN US!